Tags: VA | physicians | patients at risk

Report: VA Hiring Practices of Physicians Put Patients at Risk

Report: VA Hiring Practices of Physicians Put Patients at Risk
(AP)

By    |   Sunday, 03 December 2017 03:14 PM

Veterans Affairs doctors with problem pasts that are hired by the agency have put patients at risk for their caregivers' potentially dangerous shortfalls, USA Today reported Sunday.

According to the news outlet, its investigation of neurosurgeon John Schneider was so egregious that it sparked the VA to seek an independent, third-party review of the care of his patients.

"Here the veterans, they went and served their country, and they're messed up and everything," Michael Green, who is awaiting payment for a malpractice claim that alleged Schneider, while caring for him in Wyoming, placed a screw incorrectly in his lower spine, told USA Today. "And then turn that guy loose on them, that's what doesn't make sense."

USA Today reported that Schneider racked up more than a dozen malpractice claims and settlements in Montana and Wyoming, including cases alleging he made surgical mistakes that left patients maimed, paralyzed or dead. The state of Wyoming revoked his medical license after another surgical patient died.

Nevertheless, the VA hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, hired him anyway in April at an annual salary of $385,000, the article stated.

However, VA officials have now determined Schneider's hiring — and potentially that of an unknown number of other doctors — was illegal.

VA spokesman Curt Cashour said agency officials provided hospital officials in Iowa City with "incorrect guidance" green-lighting Schneider's hire. The VA moved to fire Schneider last Wednesday. He resigned instead.

But it's not an isolated case.

A VA hospital in Oklahoma knowingly hired a psychiatrist previously sanctioned for sexual misconduct who went on to sleep with a VA patient, according to internal documents, the article explained.

And a Louisiana VA clinic hired a psychologist with felony convictions. The VA ended up firing him after they determined he was a "direct threat to others" and the VA's mission.

Cashour told the newspaper that the VA would look into whether other doctors had been improperly hired.

"We will take the same prompt removal action with any other improper hires we discover," he said.

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Veterans Affairs doctors with problem pasts that are hired by the agency have put patients at risk for their caregivers' potentially dangerous shortfalls, USA Today reported Sunday.According to the news outlet, its investigation of neurosurgeon John Schneider was so...
VA, physicians, patients at risk
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2017-14-03
Sunday, 03 December 2017 03:14 PM
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